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Foundation Truth, Number 11 (Winter 2005) | Timeless Truths Publications

Cream Pies

“She perceiveth that her merchandise is good.”* (Proverbs 31:18)

King Lemuel’s mother’s advice and desire was for him to look for a girl who was industrious and who could produce good results. Now good results take more than just a fast shot at any given thing. Good results come from time and time again doing a certain thing. This applies to the subject we have today.

I recall the first lemon pie a young girl made from a box mix. After the meal was over, her mother gently asked if she had used water for the liquid. The young cook had not carefully read the instructions on the box, but just took it for granted that it was like the coconut or chocolate mixes, which called for milk! That first lemon pie was not clear and lemony, but she never forgot the lesson. Be sure you carefully read the instructions and go by them! If your cream pies still haven’t been the best, don’t be discouraged. Keep trying, and note the results on the recipe. Next time, perhaps it can be altered and made more palatable! Analyze what could have perhaps made it better and jot that down to try next time. Research at the library is very helpful in answering any question you may have. A lot of time can be saved by reading about what others have learned by experimentation.

When we were selling pies in our community, we desired to deliver a really good product for the money. What could be done about the meringues weeping and the crust around the edge all becoming soggy by the second day? Or the whipped cream turning watery! Pumpkin pie crusts tend to be soft, too. What could be done about these problems?

We trust that the following recipes and tips, that have been discovered to solve the above problems, will be of value to you in serving your family and friends “good merchandise.”

Lemon Pie

Heat in double boiler:

  • 1 c. water
  • 1 c. lemon juice

In a small mixing bowl combine:

  • 1 c. sugar + 2 T.
  • 1/2 c. cornstarch
  • pinch of salt

Mix well and add:

  • large egg yolks
  • 1/2 c. water

Whisk all lumps out and pour into hot mixture.

Stir until dissolved and until thickened and smooth.

Remove from heat and add:

  • 2 t. butter
  • 1 t. grated lemon rind (opt.)

Cool, stirring often to keep smooth, until only just warm.

Pour in baked and cooled pie crust and top with meringue.

Variation: If your family prefers it less tart, reduce juice to 3/4 cup and increase water to 1 1/4 cup.

Before slicing a meringue-covered pie, take the knife and slice through margarine.

Chocolate Pie

The use of half water and half milk gives a clear chocolate flavor. Honey also enhances the flavor of chocolate and makes it silky smooth!

In double boiler heat:

  • 1 c. water
  • 1 c. milk

In small bowl combine:

  • 7/8 c. sugar
  • 3 T. cocoa
  • 1/4 c. flour
  • 1/3 c. cornstarch
  • pinch of salt

Into dry ingredients add:

  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 2 T. honey
  • 1/4 c. milk

Beat until smooth and pour in hot milk/water. Cook, stirring constantly, until thick. Beat to remove any lumps. Remove from heat and add:

  • 1 t. double strength vanilla
  • 2 t. butter or margarine

Pour cooled filling in baked crust and refrigerate.

When cold, top with whipped cream. Grate a chocolate kiss or a square of a milk chocolate candy bar over whipped cream, if desired.

Two ways to keep scum from forming while filling is cooling. Stir often or cover with saran wrap, so that it makes contact with top of filling.

Coconut Cream Pie

Corn syrup gives it smoothness.

In double boiler heat:

  • 2 c. milk

In small bowl combine:

  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1/4 c. flour
  • 1/3 c. cornstarch
  • pinch of salt

Add and beat until smooth:

  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 2 T. corn syrup
  • 1/4 c. milk

Pour into hot milk and stir constantly with a whisk, beating out any lumps as it thickens. Remove from heat and add:

  • 1/2 t. double strength vanilla
  • 1/4 t. coconut flavor
  • 2 t. butter or margarine
  • 1/3 c. flaked coconut

Cool until “just warm” before pouring into baked crust.

Cover with fine cake crumbs and top with meringue and a generous sprinkling of coconut and bake till browned.


For Banana Cream: substitute banana flavor for the coconut; omit coconut flakes and fold in 2 large, thinly sliced bananas.

For Butterscotch: substitute 2/3 c. brown sugar for the white; omit all coconut.


This cornstarch mixture helps to stabilize, makes it tender and easier to slice. It also does not shrink as much or overcook as easily as meringues without it.

In small sauce pan place:

  • 2 t. cornstarch
  • 1/4 c. cool water

Let stand 1 minute. Then stir well.

Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. The mixture will be thick and slightly cloudy.

Let it cool for a couple of minutes, while preparing the egg whites.

Have utensils absolutely free of grease and egg whites without a trace of yolk.

Place in mixer bowl:

  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1/8 t. salt
  • 1/4 t. cream of tartar
  • 1/4 t. vanilla

Add the above cornstarch gel, a tablespoon at a time, while beating the egg white mixture.

Beat until soft peaks form.


  • 6 T. sugar, one T. at a time

Continue beating until the peak does not fall when the beater is lifted.

Spoon onto pie filling, being sure to seal well at the crust. If it is not sealed well at all points, it will pull away during baking. Bake at 325°-350° for 12-15 minutes. If using convection oven, bake at 315° for 7-8 minutes or until nicely browned. If you have the option of convection bake, by all means use it. It really seems to produce a better meringue with less weeping. Perhaps it is the dry hot air.

To avoid little sugar drops or beading and also shrinkage, cool meringues in a warm place, away from cold drafts.

A tip that is really worth the effort: Finely crumb a cake donut, or use fine yellow cake crumbs and sprinkle a thin layer over the warm filling. If there is any leakage from the meringue, the crumbs absorb it. Especially when using the yellow cake crumbs, not a single crumb is detected upon slicing the pie!

Whipped Cream

For two pies. Gelatin and powdered sugar are the stabilizing secrets.

In mixer bowl pour:

  • 1 c. cream

While beating on medium high, slowly sprinkle in:

  • 1/2 t. unflavored gelatin

Continue beating and add:

  • 4 T. powdered sugar
  • 1/2 t. double strength vanilla

Care is needed to beat just until it forms soft to medium peaks. With longer beating, it will lose its smoothness and start looking rough. Stop beating or you will have butter instead of whipped cream! Put on cold pie filling in decorative swirls. Never put on a warm pie filling. It must be cold all the way through to keep the whipped cream from melting. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

If you have trouble with the fast, easy way of just sprinkling the gelatin in, you may try softening 1/8 t. gelatin with 2 T. cream in a cup. After stirring and softening for 5 minutes, set cup in bowl of hot water to dissolve gelatin. Pour 7/8 c. cream in mixer bowl, adding the softened gelatin, powdered sugar and vanilla and beat.

Another way of getting gelatin in is to bring 2 T. marshmallow cream to room temperature, and add to cream before starting to beat. If you try adding it while beating, it may just end up wound around the top of the beaters! You will need to stop the mixer and scrape the bowl to help get the marshmallow cream mixed in. Adding a softened marshmallow didn’t work. It immediately hardened up again upon contact with the cold cream!

To avoid soggy Pumpkin Pie Crust:

  1. Roll the pie crust extra thick and use a pyrex pie plate.
  2. Beat the eggs that are to be put in the filling. Using a pastry brush, paint the inside of the unbaked pie crust with a little of the beaten eggs. Place in refrigerator to dry the egg coating, while mixing the remainder of the filling.
  3. Or press 1-1/2 T. graham cracker crumbs into bottom and up sides of crust. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes. It may puff up a little. Just press down again with spoon. Then pour in filling and bake in the lower one-third of oven. (These graham cracker crumbs, pressed in before baking, also make for an extra crispy crust for cream pies.)
  4. Adding 1 to 2 T. flour to your favorite filling recipe will help it firm up and not get watery. Baking at too high heat will make it watery, so keep the heat down to 325°!

The pie crust recipe appeared in issue Number 9. One reader reported that it seemed to be too oily. There are differences in brands of flour and whether you sifted the flour or not. Just use a little less oil or a little more flour to fit your needs. Or you could add a couple tablespoons of wheat germ. I know from experience that if you cut the oil too much, the dough is harder to roll out. On warm days, I have rolled the ball of dough in flour before rolling out. Also, the dough needs to be rolled out right away, and not allowed to set or the oil begins to seep out. Hope this helps those of you who had trouble.

The above coconut filling recipe was shared with another sister. When she made it, her pie turned out much more stiff than desirable. In trying to figure out the reason, we compared our dry measuring cups. How surprised we were to discover that not all measuring cups are created equal! Hers were a little bigger! She adjusted the flour and cornstarch and tried it again, with much better results. These recipes, tips and information have all been passed down from mothers, grandmothers, aunts, friends, books, and newspaper clippings. Thank you all so much. Now it is up to us to use them and pass them on to our daughters and teach them the value of “good merchandise.”

May God bless and help you in your learning and teaching experiences,